hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons
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How to Make Hoshigaki (Japanese Dried Persimmons)

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Join me on a culinary journey to discover the exciting world of hoshigaki. This traditional Japanese treat is made in a slow air-drying process that transforms persimmons into a sweet, caramel-like perfection.

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons

Also known as Japanese dried persimmon, hoshigaki is a true delicacy that requires patience and a bit of craftsmanship to achieve its unique flavour and texture.

But don’t worry – you can make them too! In this post, we’ll explore the process of crafting Hoshigaki with useful tips on how to make your own dried persimmons at home.

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons

Choosing the best persimmons to make hoshigaki

When making Japanese-style dried persimmons or hoshigaki, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right persimmons:

  • The most commonly used varieties are the ones with large, adstringent fruits such as hachiya. The adstringent varieties were traditionally dried to remove their adstringency and make them sweeter. 
  • Choose firm, slightly unripe fruits. They should be orange in colour (not green), but still in a phase before getting soft. Leave the softer ones to ripen fully and enjoy them fresh rather than trying to make hoshigaki out of them.
  • From my experience, larger persimmon fruits are generally more suitable for drying than small ones since these fruits lose much of their original volume as they dry. 
  • If you have a space that doesn’t allow the best airflow and quick drying, you may opt for smaller ones that will dry more quickly.
These are persimmons that my friend grew in his permaculture orchard in northern Croatia. He has many similar varieties and I am not sure which ones these were. They were adstringent when unripe and perfect for drying.

How to Make Hoshigaki (Japanese Dried Persimmons)

In short, this is how you make hoshigaki:

  1. Peel the persimmons and remove the sepals.
  2. Tie a strong cotton string around their stems.
  3. Hang the persimmons at a well-aerated place.
  4. Let them dry for a week without touching them.
  5. After a week, start gently massaging the persimmons once a day.
  6. In about a month, you will have your delicious hoshigaki done and ready to eat!

There is more to the whole hoshigaki process, so keep reading to find out the important details that will make your persimmon drying easy and flawless.

1. Peeling the persimmons

Peel the persimmons using a knife or a vegetable peeler. Be careful while doing this, so as not to bruise the fruits – at this stage, we want them to stay as firm as possible. You can also cut off the sepals (the green, leafy structures around the stem) to make it more tidy. This time, however, I didn’t do it and it didn’t make any problem at all.

peeling persimmons

2. Hanging the persimmons

Cut a strong cotton thread into pieces of the desired length and tie it well around the stems of your persimmons. The reason for choosing cotton is simply its non-slip surface that allows you to tie a tight knot that won’t fall apart. You can use a thread made out of any other material that will do the job. 

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons

If there is not enough stem left on the persimmon fruit, don’t worry – you can still hang it. Just push a metal screw into the fruit next to its stem and wrap the string around the screw, as shown in the picture.

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons

Traditionally, two persimmons are tied with the ends of the same string and hung over a bamboo stick. However, you can adjust the method according to what is more convenient for you. I didn’t have a place to hang them over a stick, so I attached them one by one to hang from a wooden shelf. 

3. Drying and massaging the persimmons

Leave the persimmons to dry at a place with a good airflow. If you can also get them to have some sunlight – great, but it is not a must. The airflow is the most important factor if you want them to dry and not turn mouldy.

After a week or so, the surface of the persimmons will be dry to the touch and now it is the time for the fun part: massage the persimmons gently once a day to make them softer and more tender. 

Don’t overdo the massaging – a very light and careful kneading of their surface every day will do the job. Over time, as they dry, you will first notice that they are getting soft and tender. Be careful not to press them too hard because you might end up squeezing the tender fruit flesh out to the surface.

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons
Dried persimmons after 10 days and after 15 days. They are getting drier, but sill keeping their tender texture because of the daily massaging/kneading. At this point, they still haven’t started to get their famous white sugary surface.

After a couple of weeks, the hoshigaki will get a bit firmer and gooey, probably darker on the inside and with a white bloom on their surface – at this point, they are done and ready to eat or store.

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmon
After a few weeks, I noticed some white sugar crystals on the surface of my dried persimmons. These are still a bit soft on the inside, but they can already be eaten if you like them softer. I decided to let them dry for another week to get fully coated with the sugar bloom.

4. Storing the hoshigaki

In about four to six weeks, your Japanese-style dried persimmons should be done and ready to eat or store. To keep them nice and soft, just store them in a glass jar and close it with a lid. I normally use basic glass jars with screw-on lids and they keep them perfectly protected.

I haven’t tried to store them in those more fancy, air-tight jars, so I cannot tell you how it works (as a good food blogger, I will get one of those jars, someday… please bear with me).

Hoshigaki Q & A

Why is the surface of dried persimmons (not) turning white?

As the persimmons dry, you might notice tiny white crystals covering the surface of the fruits. This is the fructose from the fruit coming to the surface. The white coating (bloom) is a desirable characteristic of hoshigaki and if you got it to appear – great job!

If, however, your dried persimmons did not develop any sweet white bloom even after four to six weeks, but they look and feel like they are ready, it might be because the environment was too dry for the bloom to develop.

This is not a problem – the hoshigaki will still be perfectly tasty.

But, if the lack of bloom bothers you (I won’t lie, it did bother me when I was drying them in a very dry environment), you can easily “fix” it and make your hoshigaki look like the ones from a store: simply put the dried persimmons into a ziplock bag and keep them closed until their surface turns white.

This will happen because there is still some water left in the dried fruits, making this closed environment humid and encouraging the sugar from the fruit to come to the surface. It will probably take a couple of days.

hoshigaki dried persimmon
Dried persimmons after five days in a closed jar – they got a beautiful layer of natural sugar coating.

Why are the persimmons starting to ferment or develop mould?

If you are making your dried persimmons indoors, a combination of a too-high temperature and too much humidity can lead to your fruits getting mouldy or fermented before they get to dry.

To prevent this, choose a spot that has good airflow and is not too close to any heaters. Drying the persimmons in a garage, a basement or an attic can be a better idea than drying them in a warm room.

How do the unripe persimmons transform from adstringent to edible?

All adstringent persimmon varieties (which are in fact the original persimmons), naturally contain tannins. These are water-soluble polyphenolic molecules that produce the famous weird and unpleasant feeling on your tongue after they have started dissolving in your mouth.

Drying the persimmons will make the tannins in them water-insoluble, which will cause them to lose their adstringent properties when they come in contact with saliva in the mouth. This important process allows us to enjoy these beautiful, sweet, caramel-like persimmons that used to be impossible to eat when they were raw and unripe

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons
A comparison between the fresh persimmon and a persimmon that has been drying in the air for almost two weeks. It shrunk quite a bit because lost a significant amount of water in the drying process. All of the sweetness and flavour is now concentrated in this small nature’s candy!

If we hadn’t dried the persimmons, we would have had to wait for them to become fully soft and gelatinous on the inside to be able to eat them fresh. For me, drying is a great way to preserve this wonderful fruit and turn it into a heavenly treat.


Finally, I am able to share the latest photos of my hoshigaki. After a month of drying the persimmons in the air and massaging them almost every day, I placed them in a glass jar and closed the lid. It took them about five days to get fully coated with the white sugar bloom.

hoshigaki dried persimmon
Look at that lovely bloom!

Now, a sliced hoshigaki looks like a little art piece. What do you think?

hoshigaki dried persimmon

Hoshigaki (Japanese Dried Persimmons)

hoshigaki japanese dried persimmons

Follow these easy steps to get delicious homemade hoshigaki - Japanese dried persimmons.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Firm persimmon fruits


  1. Carefully peel the persimmons and optionally remove the sepals to achieve a tidier look.
  2. Tie a strong cotton string around their stems.
  3. Hang the persimmons in a place with good airflow.
  4. Let them dry for about a week without touching them. After a week or so, you will notice that their surface is no longer wet and slippery, but rather leathery and dry.
  5. Start gently massaging the persimmons once a day. Don’t knead them too firmly because the inside will be quite soft at this point.
  6. Keep kneading/massaging the fruits daily, or every other day, for a couple of weeks. 
  7. Notice that the persimmons change as time goes by - they will darken a bit, look and feel drier, lose a lot of their original volume, and start to develop a white coating (natural sugar bloom) at their surface. 
  8. When the persimmons are no longer super soft on the inside, but still feel nice and tender, your delicious hoshigaki are done and ready to eat!
  9. Store the dried persimmons in a glass jar.


  • If there is not enough stem left on the fruit, insert a steel screw into it near the stem, and use that screw to tie the string around it and hang the persimmon.
  • Traditionally, the persimmons can be hung outdoors or indoors. I have only tried hanging them indoors because late autumn here in northern Croatia can be rainy and very cold. I attach the strings with persimmons to my wooden shelves near a window, on a spot with good airflow.
  • The drying time can vary depending on how warm and how dry the environment is. It can take between three and six weeks altogether to get your perfectly dried persimmons.
  • If your persimmons don’t develop the white coating, but they look dry, it might mean that the environment was too dry for the sugar to bloom on their surface. That is not a problem at all. If you would like them to develop the white coating, put them into a zip-lock bag or a glass jar, and close them well. They will most likely get the white surface within a few days.

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